Prep baseball: Tigers rally in last at-bats to nip Raiders, 3-2
Corey Spanner took one for the team and was credited with a game-winning run batted in.
After getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the left-handed swinging Spanner happily jogged to first base while teammate Adam McKnight crossed home plate to give Marietta High a 3-2 come-from-behind triumph over Morgan at Legion Field Tuesday.
The Tigers, who extended their winning streak to five, now own a 7-2 overall record.
“The kids are playing well together,” said MHS co-skipper Larry Burke. “It was tough playing Morgan. Morgan has a nice ballclub.
“Luckily, we got great pitching again. It was a good win.”
Marietta reliever Nick Lewis picked up the win. Steve Herron started on the hill, and Joe Roberts relieved him in the third inning. The trio combined to allow just one earned run.
Offensively, Ben Barnas, who is scheduled to pitch at Cambridge at 5 p.m. today, had two hits for the Tigers. Evan Sawyer, Nathan Bryan, Adam McKnight, and Spurr each added a single.
“We just manufactured some runs,” Burke said.
Morgan closer Stuart Crandall suffered the mound setback. Both of the runs that he allowed in the final frame were unearned.
Kyle Earich and starting pitcher Mason Edgell each had two hits to lead the Raiders, who fell to 5-4 overall (3-1 Muskingum Valley League). Layton Shaw had one hit and an RBI, and Brady Weaver scored two runs.
“It was a tough last inning, but we’re going to bounce back,” said Morgan head coach Greg Gifford. “We’ve got a good ball team, and just came up a little short at the end.”
Marietta staked itself to a 1-0 first-inning advantage when with two outs Spurr, Bryan and McKnight singled off Edgell.
In the top of the second, Earich stroked a one-out double to left and advanced to third on a groundout. But the Raider center fielder was stranded when Herron got Weaver on a bouncer to second.
Weaver, relieving Edgell, got into a little jam in the fourth when Michael Ullman walked and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Barnas. Weaver got out of the inning unscored upon, though, when he retired the next three Tigers.
Morgan capitalized on two MHS errors in the fifth to tie the game 1-1. After Weaver singled and Edgell beat out a bunt, Shaw hit a little flare over Tiger shortstop Devin Leister’s head. When the ball was misplayed, Weaver was able to leg it home.
In the top of the seventh, Weaver was hit by a Lewis pitch leading off. One out later, Austin Campbell singled to right, and Shaw followed with a hit, driving in Weaver with the go-ahead run.
Getting its last at-bats, Marietta made the best of them without the benefit of a hit off Crandall in the bottom half of the frame. Leading off, Spurr was safe on a Morgan boot at third. After Lewis sacrifice bunted Spurr to second, McKnight walked.
Next up, Ullman’s grounder to short was bobbled, and on the error, Spurr scored the equalizer. Barnas then hit into a force play, and Austin Hefter walked to fill the bases.
Stepping into the batter’s box, Spanner worked the count to 3-2 before he was plunked by Crandall.
“We’re playing to the level of our competition, and we’re squeaking them out,” Burke said.